Day of the Canary Islands

Above any hobbie, passion or desire, is the feeling of consider myself an Islander. I think that there’s no bigger love in this world than the one that the Canarian people has for their Archipielago (8 Islands).

This past Sunday 30th was the Day of the Canary Islands which represents that beloved desire of the Canaries for having a greater political representation and autonomy in the country.

The 30 of May of 1983 was the first of the sessions of the Parliament of Canarias, celebrated in Santa Cruz, the capital of the Tenerife island. This was the starting point to give greater voice and vote to the Canary Islands in Spain.

During that days, the children become protagonists of the commemoration, dressing with their finest typical costumes and offering tastings of the most delicious dishes and wines of the islands.

The native flora and fauna are also a primordial part of their exhibitions and highlight information of interest around the perfect climate of this paradise.

Feels quite sad to not be this day at home, ‘case since I was 17 years old I’ve been living away from the Islands but somehow, I managed to be all 30th of May at my beautiful Gran Canaria 🥰

To celebrate the birth of the most beautiful place in the world (heheh) I’ll leave you here the recipe for a very easy but tasty typical canarian meal, “papas arrugadas con mojo” (wrinkled potatoes with spicy pepper sauce). Won’t taste like if a Canary has prepared it.. but there’s nothing to lose 😉

link to the English version recipe in Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bx35tcyago

Here I’ll leave also some analog photos that I’ve been taken during my vacations at home ❤

My house in Gran Canaria
Typical Canarian view (Gran Canaria)
La Gomera
Garajonay National Park (La Gomera)
Lanzarote

Hope you have like the photos 🙂

Paula, Spanish volunteer in Sokolowsko

Sokołowsko Sanatorium Dr Brehmera

The first mention of Sokołowska appears in 1357 as an existing village probably founded by the Benedictine Order in Broumov. Until the end of the 15th century, Sokołowsko had several owners.

In 1509, Sokołowsko, together with the southern part of the Duchy of Świdnica was purchased by Count von Hochberg, who founded the ancestral seat in Książ. Until the mid-19th century, Sokołowsko did not differ much from other villages in the Hochberg family. A change in the fate of the village took place in 1849, when count von Colomb. Delighted by the landscape, Sokołowska persuaded her brother-in-law, Dr. Hermann Brehmer to create a spa that cures Vincent Priessnitz using the hydrotherapy method.

In 1855, the world’s first specialist tuberculosis sanatorium was opened in Sokołowsko, which used an innovative method of climatic and dietary treatment. Following the example of Sokołowska, a tuberculosis treatment center was established in Davos. Later on, Sokołowsko was called the “Silesian Davos”, although Davos should be called the “Swiss Sokołowski”. Prof. Alfred Sokołowski. In 1945, the village was named after him.

The spa was not cheap, but it was well developed – before 1888 it had a post office and telephone connections. In 1887, 730 patients stayed here. Dr. Tytus Chałubiński’s stay in Sokołowsko indirectly resulted in his interest in Zakopane, as he began searching for an area similar to this health resort in order to organize the same tuberculosis treatment center in Poland.

After World War II, a health resort with an anti-tuberculosis profile remained here. Under the pressure of Dr. Stanisław Domina, the treatment profile was changed towards the treatment of respiratory diseases. In the 1970s, the village began to be transformed into a winter sports center for the needs of Wałbrzych clubs, and ultimately the Provincial Winter Sports Center was to be established. However, due to the lack of financial resources, not everything was realized. Only the cross-country trails (including roller ski runs) remained, which were included in the Gwarków Run. In recent years, the spa has been going through a regression based on the general economic crisis. After World War II, the status of the village of Sokołowsko was not obtained until the beginning of the 21st century.

In 2007, the facility of the former Dr. Brehmer Sanatorium was purchased by the In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation, which is now creating the International Cultural Laboratory.

The longer history of Sokołowska….

According to a little-known legend, the beginnings of the village were to be associated with cattle breeders who, in search of new pastures, found a beautiful fertile clearing, full of herbs and flowers, located in a deep valley surrounded by steep mountain slopes, in the middle of the ancient Sudeten Forest.

The first settlement in the area of ​​today’s Sokołowska and its vicinity appeared at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. The habitats were situated on both banks of the stream flowing through the town. Their traces are most clearly visible in the eastern part of the village. From around 1400, the name of the town – Görbersdorf (Goerbersdorff, 1357) – was mentioned many times in documents in connection with the nearby Radosno (Ferudenschloß) knight’s castle. This name probably came from the name of one of the knights residing in the castle. In the years 1426-1428, the surrounding areas were plundered by the Hussites, who attacked the monastery in Krzeszów, the Ferudenschloß castle and nearby towns. The Hussites’ attacks and robberies lasted until 1443, and no trace of the surrounding peasant farms was left.

The events of the Thirty Years’ War brought further devastation in the years 1623 – 1624, and the plague in the years 1633 – 1634. The first mention of Görbersdorf comes from 1636, contained in a report by Hans Heinrich Hochberg of Książ, the owner of the village, prepared for the emperor. Hochberg notifies the new ruler that after the war only four remained out of nine farms, out of 228 cows and nine horses, 3 cows and one horse remained. In 1644, the Swedish army seized Książ, the owner of which took refuge in Görbersdorf in the house of the village administrator.
During the Silesian wars, the surrounding areas were plundered by both imperial and Prussian armies. In 1745, the head of Görbersdorf was captured by the imperial army, and the village had to pay a large ransom for his release. In 1807 a skirmish with Napoleon’s army took place near the town, on the so-called Blitzengrund (Lugovina).

At the beginning of the 19th century, there were 14 peasant farms in Görbersdorf. The town belonged to the Hochbergs. According to Knie in his book from 1845, the village was inhabited by 315 people, including 7 Catholics. The village had 64 houses and was a free village council. At that time, there were two water mills, two Dutch windmills, one distillery, 10 cotton weaving looms and 13 linen looms. 10 craftsmen were active. As the above data shows, it was a relatively well developed town. A radical change in rural development took place after 1849. In the summer of that year Marshal Blücher’s niece, Maria von Colomb, purchased the so-called Mühlengrundstück from the Hochbergs, on which she set up a cold water treatment facility the following year. Maria von Colomb intended to settle not only Görbersdorf, but also the surrounding villages. On Maria’s order, the villagers prepared their houses in the style of Gräfenberg. Simultaneously, “duche” (showers) were opened in Blitzengrund (Lugovina), 2 kilometers from Görbersdorf, where patients were transported three times a day. Despite efforts, the plant did not bring any income and, as a consequence, in 1854 Maria von Colomb went to prison for debts, and the plant was taken over by her young brother-in-law, Brehmer, for a small sum.

Hermann Brehmer was born in 1826 near Strzelin as the son of an official. He attended schools in Wrocław, in 1847 he began studying mathematics and natural science at the University of Wrocław. He was also interested in astronomy and botany. As a result of very active participation in the events of the Spring of Nations, he had to leave Wrocław. According to some reports, he was supposed to be hiding in the Sudetes at that time. He also visited health resorts, incl. Gräfonberg, where he met his future wife, sister Maria von Colomb. He then went to Berlin, where he met Alexander Humboldt. In Berlin, he initially studied botanical and then medical. The latter at the instigation of Dr. Schönlein, the court physician of King Frederick William IV. In 1853, Brehmer obtained his doctorate on the basis of the thesis entitled “Uber die Gesetze der Entsthung und das Fortschreitens der Tuberkuloze der Lungen”. From 1854 to 1858, together with Maria von Colomb, he ran a institute of natural medicine in Görbersdorf. In 1859, thanks to the protection of Professor Schönlein, he obtained a license from the Prussian government to run a treatment facility for lung patients according to his own method.

In his doctoral dissertation, Brehmer included the basic assumptions of his method. He pointed out that the high temperature and southern climate are definitely unfavorable for lung patients. On the other hand, elevation above sea level plays a positive role. In his practice, Brehmer emphasized climatic treatment through “fresh mountain air”. The treatment involved a lot of exercise in the fresh air, also with the use of special breathing exercises, called “pulmonary gymnastics”. Adequate and plentiful nutrition was equally important, including eating, apart from meat, also large amounts of vegetables.

Izabela, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko.This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.#EuropeanSolidarityCorps

JamSessions in Sokolowsko

Hi, it’s Andrés. I want to share that I’m feeling very glad to meet Polish people who are into music so we can play music together!! Jamsessions in front of a bonfire, in the flat, in the forest, in the pub… An amazing thing is that when we are playing we all are “listening and speaking” to each other with the language of music, so there are no language borders here ^^ singing, dancing, playing whatever you decide that becomes an instrument… It’s really nice. Thanks 🙂

Andrés, from Spain, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko. This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

Church St. Michael the Archangel in Sokolowsko

History:
Built in the years 1900–1901 with the blessing of the Metropolitan of St.Petersburg, Palladius, thanks to the efforts of the Brotherhood of St. Włodzimierz, for patients coming to the local health resort (Sokołowsko). The church was consecrated on September 3, 1901 by the chaplain of the Russian embassy in Berlin - proto-priest Alexy von Maltzow. The church served the faithful until the end of the 1930s.

After World War II, it was abandoned and forgotten, it was devastated, for some time it was used as a morgue [1]. From 1980 to August 16, 1996 it was privately owned - as a summer house (the superior authorities of the Orthodox Church in Poland learned about the existence of the church in Sokołowsko only in 1989 from a mention in a local newspaper).

Thanks to the efforts of the Orthodox parish of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Wrocław on Piasek Island and receiving a subsidy from the Foundation "Renovabis" in Freising, the church was repurchased and after a general renovation, it was restored to its original purpose. On April 5, 1997, the Archbishop of Wrocław and Szczecin, Jeremiasz, consecrated the new cross crowning the church (the first one was removed in the 1980s). Since 1999, there has been an icon writing studio and a small gallery of iconographer Michał Bogucki at the church.

Currently (since 1998), the church serves as a parish temple for the faithful from Sokołowska and the Polish-Czech border region. It is also a place of prayer for participants of youth camps and tourists from other regions of Poland and from abroad visiting Sokołowsko. The hundredth anniversary of the church's dedication with the participation of His Excellency Archbishop Jeremiah was celebrated on November 10, 2001.

In 2008, the roof of the temple was damaged during a hurricane when fallen spruce fell on it. Despite this, the church was still active [1].

In 2018, the relics of St. Łukasz, the Bishop of Crimea, brought from Ukraine [2].

The building was entered in the register of monuments on November 30, 1984, under number 1048 / WŁ [3].

Sightseeing:

The church is open to visitors from morning to dusk. The easiest way to get to the temple is from the center of Sokołowska along the road next to the church and the "Biały Orzeł" hospital (along the path into the park). On the right, you pass the House of St. Elizabeth, 100 meters away, on a small hill, there is an Orthodox church. If the church is closed, go to the House of St. Elizabeth and ask to open it.


Izabela, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko.This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.#EuropeanSolidarityCorps

It is worth seeing vol. 5

Świdnica is one of the most important cities in Lower Silesia. It is a beautifully preserved gem with beautiful townhouses, cobbled streets and churches built even in the 17th century. Due to the fact that as volunteers we live nearby we are there quite often. And thanks to this I can show you how wonderful this place is.

  1. Town Hall – Taking into account the number of monuments within the Old Town, Świdnica is second only to Wrocław in Lower Silesia. In the middle of the square, surrounded by beautiful tenement houses, stands the town hall with a town hall tower. Its history is very turbulent, dating back to 1393 or even earlier. Destroyed, burned and rebuilt several times, it has survived to the present day. Today you can climb it and enjoy the panorama of the city.
  2. Kościół Pokoju pw. Świętej Trójcy – Holy Trinity Church of Peace – The Church of Peace in Świdnica is the most recognisable monument of Świdnica inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church can accommodate up to 7,500 worshippers, making it the largest wooden church in Europe. As many as 27 entrances lead to it.
  3. Katedra św. Stanisława i św. Wacława – Cathedral of St. Stanislav and St. Wenceslas – Seen from the vantage point on the town hall tower, the cathedral looks like a giant ship sailing through the low, monotonous buildings of the city. The construction of the cathedral was started in 1330 by Bolko II, Duke of Świdnica. In 1488, the roofing of the church was completed.The cathedral can boast the highest church tower in Lower Silesia, measuring 101.5 metres.
  4. Once a month, on the first Sunday of the month, there is always an antique market, you can find everything there! From old cameras, clothes, furniture to totally amazing jewellery and paintings and handmade works. The market is huge, taking up the entire space of the old town square, stretching along the side streets and going beyond. It is very popular and always full of people.

I invite you to visit Świdnica and get to know other cities in Lower Silesia!!!!

Dominika, polish volunteer, In Situ Foundation in Sokołowsko

RETROSPECTIVE

As time passes so fast is difficult to sketch and recover every feeling, good moment and good days with the new friends i made but afterwards u just can have an atmosphere of bright and warm light about all these days and all the trips and experiences.

I just can be thankful to this project, the association, the school and of course everybody i have spent time with and travel with to know and discover this wonderful country of mountains and beach, trees and dessert ( near Olkusz 🤣) and light and clouds!

I could enjoy and develop my taste in arquitecture due to the amazing buildings around Poland from Krakow to Wrocław and the skyscrapers in Warsaw. Linked to this I could develop too my passion for photography shooting in downtown not even abandoned buildings in Katowice. Plenty of aesthetics, in buildings, uptown, forests, lakes and structures.

I enjoyed and experienced Christmas and Easter in this country and get soaked in the local culture and traditions in each context, visiting museum, traditional coffee shops and tea places! and of course enjoy the big amount of different beers and the good quality of them.

Thanks to all of them who helped me and all of them who i could learn of, and to the Solidarity Corps for bringing me chance of learn, discover and enjoy so much! ♥️🇵🇱

Arturo volunteer in Democratic School in Gliwice Wolno Mi

Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps 🇪🇺

#ESolidarityCorps

#ActiveWomanAssociation

Read, travel and discover new places

Hello!

Today I want to talk to you about the city in which I live and how beautiful it is to live in it. March has been my first month living here and every day I like this city more.

Bielsko Biala is a city in southern Poland and is named for the two towns it is composed of located on the bank of the Biala River. You can also do natural and cultural activities. Since it is close to the Beskidy Mountains, it has different museums and history.

This week I am taking advantage of it to learn more, discovering very beautiful and ideal places to read, take a coffee in the sun or meet people.

Speaking of reading, this week I have started reading a very interesting book by the German author Henning Köhler that was recommended to me by a classmate and teacher at the Waldorf School.

The title in Spanish is “Cómo educar a los niños temerosos, tristes o inquietos” in Polish it is known by the name of “O dzieciach lękliwych, smutnych i niespokojnych”.

To solve these problems he discovers that they are directly related to deficiencies in the development of the volitional senses (touch, vital, movement and balance) in early childhood and gives us different indications of how to cultivate them.

In my case, this book is making new knowledge about pedagogy that will be useful for me and for my work at school.

I don’t know if you prefer real or digital books, I always choose real books because I like their smell and texture. But be it real or digital, I recommend that you read this or another book since by reading you exercise your mind, you move it, you revolutionize it and you develop it. Producing restlessness when knowing new things and accessing different worlds through your imagination. Something similar is experienced traveling, discovering new cultures and meeting new people.

So go ahead, read, travel and discover new places! Maybe you can start with Bielsko Biala.

Bielsko Biala, Poland

María José from Spain, volunteer in Waldorf School in Bielsko Biala

#EUSolodarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation (The project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps)

It is worth seeing vol. 4

In the Pomeranian Voivodeship, by the sea, there is the Tri-City – that is, three interconnected cities -Gdańsk, Gdynia i Sopot. They have a common transport system for their inhabitants and manage their ports together. The main centre is Gdańsk and it is a city with an amazing history behind it. It is an important city for Poland and one of the most frequently selected places on the list of cities to see.

I would like to show you what you can see in this city in this wonderful spring weather.

  1. Neptune’s Fountain – stands in the city centre, on Długi Targ Street. It is the most representative part of the city with beautiful town houses, festivals and fairs take place there every year.
  2. The Main Town Hall – is one of the most characteristic buildings in Gdańsk. The oldest parts of the Town Hall date back to the 14th century. In subsequent periods, however, it was extended many times, and the result is a beautiful Gothic-Renaissance building. The interior is also amazing and very well preserved and from the town hall tower you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
  3. The Royal Route in Gdańsk (Długa Street and Długi Targ Street) – The name was given to Długa Street and its extension, Długi Targ, in connection with ceremonial entries of Polish monarchs to the city. The first solemnly welcomed king was Kazimierz Jagiellończyk in 1457. The streets were inhabited by the city’s most influential and wealthy citizens, which can be seen from the beautiful townhouses, each of which has its own interesting history. On Długa Street stands the Uphagen House, at the junction of Długa and Długi Targ streets you can visit the Main Town Hall, and the Neptune Fountain is located on Długi Targ, right next to the entrance to Artus Court – the most beautiful tenement house in Gdańsk. This is the heart of Gdańsk, which you should visit many times to see the details of the buildings and feel its charm day and night. The Royal Road is crowned with the Green Gate leading to the Long Embankment. The gate takes its name from the former colour of the columns of the bridge behind it.
  4. Crane Gate – It is not only one of the symbols of the city, but also of Poland. This largest and oldest surviving port crane of medieval Europe was built between 1442 and 1444 and served two functions – it was used to put up masts and reload goods, and at the same time it was the city gate.
  5. Długie Pobrzeże – is a waterfront promenade full of cafes, pubs and restaurants, stretching along the western bank of the Motława river. Here you will find the characteristic water gates of Gdansk’s architecture, ships on which you can embark on a cruise e.g. to Westerplatte, and the most famous Crane in Poland.

And last! If it is open, this is a two places you MUST see:

Museum of the Second World War and Westerplatte – The museum presents the history of Poland and other countries during the war in a modern style and by means of very interesting exhibitions. The exhibition is not limited to the years 1939-1945, but offers an opportunity to learn about the genesis of the outbreak of the war and the division that followed.

After visiting the Museum, it is worth visiting Westerplatte, where you will find: Watchtower 1 – the main point of Polish defence in September 1939 and the Monument to the Defenders of the Coast commemorating those who died in combat.

Dominika, polish volunteer, In Situ Foundation

Zalew Krzeszówek

The deposit of chalk molding sands (for the preparation of molding and core sands in the foundry industry) in Krzeszówek near Krzeszów was exploited industrially from the end of the 19th century. The sands from Krzeszówek are characterized by high purity and were once very desirable - in the 1980s the mine itself was part of Przedsiebiorstwo Dostaw Materiałów Odlewniczych in Tychy. A standard-gauge railway siding (1.5 km long) from the station in Krzeszów was connected to the mine. It was the longest used section of the Zadrny Valley Railway line. This stream was crossed by trains on the plate girder bridge that still exists today. The siding functioned until the beginning of the 90s - it was serviced by steam locomotives from Kamienna Góra. Currently (from about 2011) the mine is closed, its property is plundered, and the excavations (approx. 20 m deep) have been filled with water and are being used as a bathing site - which is not entirely safe. In 2013, another geological survey of the deposit was prepared, and perhaps in the coming years, sand extraction will be resumed.The Krzeszówkek reservoir was built after a flooded quartz sand mine, at the bottom there are many things from the heyday of this excavation. The whole body of water is situated in a picturesque area. The lake is often visited by amateurs of summer recreation by the water. In the summer season, be careful with scooters! The shape of the bottom and transparency mean that the flashlight is often unnecessary there. The transparency of the water is at the level of 8-9 meters. The bumpy shape of the bottom and the underwater forest creating an amazing climate and the rays of the sun breaking through it. The place is very diverse when it comes to views from the shore, but in places even beautiful. Large shoals of fish often appear in the vicinity of the flooded forest. Among the fish, we can find here perch, roach and pikes. Unfortunately, there is no diving infrastructure there.

Izabela, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko.This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.#EuropeanSolidarityCorps

Specialists of chaos or “improvisers”

During this month, between quarantines and restrictions, I came back to my books and to research. I really love researching, I became kinda addicted to it during university. I like diving into something that interests me, exploring every detail and dark spot, to eventually learn as much as I can. The experience at Droga Wolna is challenging me everyday. When it comes to education, I discovered myself to be intransigent. I need things to be in order, not left it to chance. I don’t believe in “living the day”, “follow the flow” as a general rule for the entire life. Chaos per se makes people lost and even more lost. I truly believe that chaos can have a shape not rigid or orthodox, but as flexible as people need to design it according to situations. Because, remind, it’s chaos which is giving birth to dancing stars, as Nietzsche says. Is it possibile to be a specialist of chaos?

Being involved in the the life of Droga Wolna made me wonder mostly about adults role. How to be a mentor in such a complex environment and time? Mentor doesn’t mean teaching kids something, because they are already specialists in being kids. I was told that the only thing adults can do is showing kids how to be adult. Kind of “living example”. Totally agreed with that, in scouting it’s the same.

But…example of what? Maybe there isn’t a definitive answer, but for now, in these hard times, I think I found mine. In the school, adults are called to be creative, dynamic, open to cooperate with kids which are the main protagonists of their learning process and actually, they are the only one aware of their own needs.

Okay, but…how to do that? I asked thousand times if mentors have specific methods to support kids. The answers were chaotic for me because I was expecting something defined (for example, Montessori method, Steiner’s one…), you know, I wanted a name and a description!

Only now, I understand how pointless was my question… The answer to all my doubts was in front of me: I realized that the key is improvisation. It is a practice that let people create something new from nothing or out of a boring context. It helps reading the present, remaining open to the future. Risks and things unexpected can be seen as growth opportunities and improvements. Improvisation is a technique and I really believe it’s not for everyone: it requires knowledge background which you can use anywhere, however you like, and, of course, authenticity. If you are not believing in what you are doing, well, people will notice it. Improvising is like giving something that you know, from your heart, using your passions and talents and also employing whatever the environment gives you: do a lot, with little! Supporting kids, improvising, means recalling knowledges, passing them through personal abilities, making the context as fun as it needs to make people happy learning together. Saying or doing something randomly is for amateurs, inspiring happily through playful mode is for specialists of chaos or “improvisers”.

This pandemic taught that world changes faster and it’s better to be prepared: being open to changes, being flexible. I like the concept of fluidity: staying fluid means that our shapes can change, depending on situations. Again, this attitude is already improvising, exploring the context, being open to multiple possibilities.

But one more thing… Being fluid doesn’t mean to lost ourselves continuously: the relationship between adaptation and authenticity is really problematic indeed. When I first arrived in Poland, I let myself adapt to this new context. I followed people observing their lifestyle. I jumped in it and I was playing with it to see if there was something that can fit me. But, eventually, the moment of conflict has come: do I have to change to be comfortable here? Do I have to agree with everything? Do I have to believe in natural medicine, instead of modern one which I truly trust, only because most of the people around me, do? Does practicing free education in the school mean that my way of learning is wrong? I spend so much time arguing with myself and people, that I didn’t see the answer which has been always under my nose. This is Droga Wolna’s biggest lesson: you have the power to disagree and still be part of a community. In my opinion, agreeing with everything is crazy and the risk is to hide yourself or even more dangerous, to model yourself on other’s lifestyle. Improvising as a way of leaving shouldn’t make you loose your true self: just be honest, have fun and disagree, if you need or want to. You can learn from people as much as they can learn from you.

Giulia from Italy, volunteer in Skoła Demokratyczna Droga Wolna in Szczecin.
Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

#EUSolidarityCorps

#ActiveWomenAssociation